The STDs and HIV/AIDS Program supports population-based studies of sexual behaviors related to the risk of HIV infection and STDs in order to provide essential information for measuring and understanding the sources of vulnerability to infection across diverse populations. Specific areas of interest include research on social, demographic, economic, or other structural impacts of HIV/STDs within and across populations and studies of the implications of patterns of sexual behavior, testing, and treatment in a population for the spread of HIV and other STDs.
In addition, the Program supports research on interrelationships among social, institutional, economic, and cultural contexts and sexual behaviors (e.g., how relationships with partners, family, friends, and others influence sexual behaviors; the influence of social networks on HIV/STD risk and transmission; the influence of legal, educational, religious, fraternal, and health services institutions on HIV/STD risk and prevention; cultural factors involved in HIV/STD risk and prevention, including shared norms, values and beliefs related to gender, the influence of the media on sexual behavior, and the influence of prevention messages; economic factors influencing sexual risk and protective behaviors as well as testing and treatment for HIV/STD; and other environmental influences, such as road systems, alcohol sales venues, housing availability, and general health of the community).
Intervention studies that are theoretically grounded in one or more of the scientific issues listed above are also of interest, as is methodological research to develop and improve methods for studying sexual behavior. This includes research to develop reliable and unbiased measures, data collection methods that improve validity of self-reports, and methods for validation of self-report data. The Branch continues to be interested in social and behavioral science research institutions internationally as they develop and support new researchers.
Contact: Dr. Susan Newcomer